This Article is About
seve ballesteros
golf shots
short game
weather conditions
pipe dream
hole in one
Why Is Golf So Hard
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It is generally accepted that golf is an extremely difficult game to master. But what is it about golf, why is golf so hard to play?

I remember the late Seve Ballesteros was once asked what he thought the best possible score in golf could be. His answer was interesting simply because I automatically thought of my answer to the question which would have been 18 under par for one round. It s hard enough for most people to break 80, shooting level par remains a pipe dream for millions so to score 18 birdies in a round is virtually impossible. Right?

Wrong because Seve came up with a completely different answer.

What Seve said was that the perfect round would be a hole in one on each par 3, an eagle (2 under) on each of the par 4s and par 5s. Impossible I would think but it may go some way to explaining why golf is so hard. There is no perfect round.

At the end of the day no two golf shots are the same. Unlike other sports that are usually defined by set layouts (such as a court or a playing field) golf is played on courses that are all different and change daily.

Here are just some of the variables that make golf so hard:

  • The number of variables in the swing
  • The short game - or game within a game
  • Different courses
  • Weather conditions
  • The variety of lies you can get into
  • The rough
  • Hazards
  • This list could go on forever so I will stop.

To me what makes the game of golf so hard to learn and master is too much time to think between shots. Golf is not an action game where you rely solely on instinct such as in football or tennis or most other sports.

No sir golf is a game that involves thinking, calculations, decisions and then execution.

  • How far to the pin?
  • What is the lie like?
  • What is the wind doing?
  • Which club should I use?
  • How am I swinging today?
  • What type of shot should I play here?
  • What is the state of the game/match?
  • Where do I want to be for my next shot?
  • Where do I NOT want to be?
  • What are my chances of success?
  • Etc. etc - again this list can go on.

I think that you can begin to understand why golf is so hard to learn, play and ultimately master.

But it will never be mastered because even Seve's answer had flaws in it. Based on his answer (which has never been achieved) you could argue that one can get an Albatross on some of the par fours and par fives. There is no definitive answer to "what is the best possible round?"

You can only hope to better your own previous best performance.

Golf being so hard to play and master makes for its popularity.

For some of us just making one birdie or one par in a round is reward enough. For others golf is so hard that even one good shot off the tee or one good putt is enough to bring us back week after week hoping to repeat t and improve on it.

Amazingly some people give up golf playing at a level many can only dream of achieving. The reason? They are playing badly.

Have you ever seen a golfer break 80 and be upset with his round? It happens all the time - because he knows he can play better.

Why is golf so hard to play? It's not but we make it hard because we are continually trying to improve. Although it doesn't help that the top players make it look so easy.

Learning to play golf should be fun, improving should be fun.

It's not something you do every day out so when you do get the opportunity to play try to relax and enjoy it. If you have the time put in some practice on non-playing days so that when you do play you can concentrate on the experience of being out with friends and just enjoy your game.

Street Talk

Yes golf is a very hard game to be good at, simple process I guess get the ball in the hole over there, with the flag in it lol..I find golf is a game you like or you don't, because it is so hard any one that does not like it will not stick with it, for those of us that do like it, and are just terrible at it like me, I am one of the guys that is very happy to get a couple ofl good shots off in a game, from anywhere on the course, tee, fairway, or the green. I keep on going back, not really sure why, I am a better fisherman than golfer, maybe I should just go fishing....then I will never get better at golf. Thats my take. Tim

  about 9 years ago

Hey Tim. Thanks for your views. Yes it is a challenge and it is that one good shot from anywhere that keeps us coming back! Good golfing mate!

  about 9 years ago
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